Beneath the Planet of the Mecha-Apes

(Originally ran on October 20th, 2003)

The end of the world is coming. You thought you were safe. You thought the folks at PETA were blowing smoke. You thought the movie "Planet of the Apes" was just another movie with Charlton Heston in a loincloth. It wasn’t. The end is here, and the apes are leading the way.

As if it wasn’t bad enough to have to sit through two nights of heartbreaking losses by the Cubs, the worst news of all came last Thursday morning. According to the folks at MSNBC, monkeys are now operating robotic arms with their brains.

Do you realize what this means? This is the first step towards a revolution that will see the human race overthrown by their intellectual inferiors. The people at PETA told us to be nice to the animals, and now the animals have had enough. They’re getting ready to strike back.

Apparently scientists have devised brain implants that, when connected with wires, will allow monkeys to operate robotic arms. They can grab stuff and everything.

Look, a robotic arm is one thing, but where will it lead? Have you seen "Independence Day", or the new He-Man figures that are coming out now? Carbon-based life forms operating robotic body suits to wage mass destruction on an unsuspecting urban population! The humanity!

Suddenly my dreams are haunted by visions of Curious George operating unchecked in the command center of a twenty-foot droid named the Bludgeoner, filling the Man in the Yellow Hat with a chest full of hot lead.

While the full monkey assault may still be developing, other animals are already preparing for the new regime. Even on our own campus. My colleague’s fiancée told me that an innocent student was recently attacked by a skunk outside of the Engineering Building. Apparently the assault was so vicious it knocked the kid right off of his skateboard.

What kind of arrogant fur ball thinks it can waltz onto our campus and blow our students off of their skateboards?

Another example comes to us from Denver, where I traveled a month ago to watch the Raiders get stomped into the ground by the Broncos on Monday Night Football. I went as much to cheer against Denver as I did to cheer for the Raiders. My mother is from Cleveland, home of the Browns, the team that was victimized three times in the late 1980’s in their attempts to reach the Super Bowl. I hate John Elway. I hate the Broncos.

Anyway, at Mile High Stadium, I sat in the same section as a primate I’ll refer to as "Shirtless Guy." Usually these guys use their public nudity as a canvas for writing the name of their favorite team in big colorful letters. But Shirtless Guy didn’t have any writing on him at all. He was just shirtless. It was like he was lobbying for a job with Abercrombie and Fitch.

Since the Broncos won, Shirtless Guy didn’t have any reason to riot or do any unseemly damage. But when the game was over, he and I were the last ones in our seats, and he looked as bummed as I did. Maybe he was expecting the Bronco cheerleaders to come talk to him or something. Go figure.

The concept of an animal kingdom revolution has me concerned for the livelihood of my friends and family. After reading the article, I immediately contacted my good friend and mentor Dr. Venison Skidmore and asked him how he felt about the situation, particularly since he was named after deer meat.

His only comment was inappropriate for a family newspaper, though I can tell you that it is identical to Heston’s last line in "Planet of the Apes."

Fortunately I’ve already come up with a contingency plan for when the apes do attack. The news story said that the brain implants were only installed after they had a piece of the monkey’s skulls removed so the docs could get at their brains. To cover the holes, the story said that they used a substance similar to dental cement.

Dental cement!

Maybe the monkeys will get cavities in their skulls! If we as a civilization can somehow wrest control of the dental hygiene market and secure a storage facility for all of their products, we can leave the monkeys without relief. If the cavities don’t eat their brains, they’ll at least give them a serious headache. It may be good to start hoarding your Aqua fresh now.

Gingivitis may save the world.